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Business - Written by on Friday, January 12, 2007 17:36 - 3 Comments

Denis Hancock
In the land of keitai, the iPhone is business as usual

When Steve Jobs hit the podium at the MacWorld conference, he unvieled the iPhone saying “every once in awhile, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.” As longtime Silicon Valley consultant Paul Saffo added after seeing it, “this is cyber space in your pocket. It’s going to be the new object of desire.” There is little doubt about the level of anticipation for this product – at least in the U.S.

But sometimes we forget how far behind we are on such technology here in North America, which Bruce Wallace pointed out yesterday when he looked at the response to the iPhone in Japan. While the design and touch controls may win over some followers over there, keitai devices offering almost everything the new iPhone does have been around for quite awhile. And remember, they’ve been on a 3G network for years, and have been doing things like, well, watching live TV on their phones, pointing the device at bar codes and getting directed to websites, using it as a payment device, and all kinds of other social and location based services that have evolved along the way.

The iPhone has a real cool design, and I would bet it’s going to sell pretty well – but it’s got a ways to go before the services tied to it even catch up to the rest of the world, let alone change everything.


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Vasu Srinivasan
Jan 12, 2007 18:08

Is this Reality Distortion Field of Steve Jobs or is it a new field called ‘constructive technologies’?

Check this out:

Jan 12, 2007 22:27

Is this Reality Distortion Field of Steve Jobs or is that the start of a new field called ‘constructive technology’? Check this out

Bruce Stewart
Jan 15, 2007 14:16

This establishes clearly the difference between owning the services and building devices to drive demand for them, as NTT DoCoMo did, and being a device company that has to make use of existing services, as is Apple. The parallel on the other side of the game to Apple’s unified hardware & software design/control vs the Microsoft world of software that must run on other peoples’ hardware in some ways, it differs in one significant one. The carriers here in the Western world – whether European, Antipodean or North American – remain essentially in the Stone Age when it comes to innovation.

Personally I think iPhone could more logically be the successor to the Newton, a device much laughed at (mine worked just fine, thank you! and they sold a fair number of them in vertical application situations) – the device runs Mac OS X, OS X comes with “Ink” (which no one particularly uses since Apple does not sell hardware with writeable screens, tablet or otherwise) and a stylus is a logical way to interface with the system along with fingers. (Or just fingers, I suppose – the surface is big enough to draw letters on.) As a phone … well, I have one, and its weakest link is perpetually the carrier. But as an alternative to a larger-screen laptop, such as the 17″ PowerBook I am writing on? Now that intrigues me…

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